Genesis 41:48
And he gathered up all the food of the seven years, which were in the land of Egypt, and laid up the food in the cities: the food of the field, which was round about every city, laid he up in the same.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(48) All the food.—Probably besides the fifth paid as tax to the king, and out of which all the current expenses of the realm would have to be provided, Joseph bought corn largely during these years when it was at its cheapest.

41:46-57 In the names of his two sons, Manasseh and Ephraim, Joseph owned the Divine providence. 1. He was made to forget his misery. 2. He was made fruitful in the land of his affliction. The seven plenteous years came, and were ended. We ought to look forward to the end of the days, both of our prosperity and of our opportunity. We must not be secure in prosperity, nor slothful in making good use of opportunity. Years of plenty will end; what thy hand finds to do, do it; and gather in gathering time. The dearth came, and the famine was not only in Egypt, but in other lands. Joseph was diligent in laying up, while the plenty lasted. He was prudent and careful in giving out, when the famine came. Joseph was engaged in useful and important labours. Yet it was in the midst of this his activity that his father Jacob said, Joseph is not! What a large portion of our troubles would be done away if we knew the whole truth! Let these events lead us to Jesus. There is a famine of the bread of life throughout the whole earth. Go to Jesus, and what he bids you, do. Attend to His voice, apply to him; he will open his treasures, and satisfy with goodness the hungry soul of every age and nation, without money and without price. But those who slight this provision must starve, and his enemies will be destroyed.The fulfillment of the dream here commences. "By handfuls." Not in single stalks or grains, but in handfuls compared with the former yield. It is probable that a fifth of the present unprecedented yield was sufficient for the sustenance of the inhabitants. Another fifth was rendered to the government, and the remaining three fifths were stored up or sold to the state or the foreign broker at a low price. "He left numbering because there was no number." This denotes that the store was immense, and not perhaps that modes of expressing the number failed.48. he gathered up all the food of the seven years—It gives a striking idea of the exuberant fertility of this land, that, from the superabundance of the seven plenteous years, corn enough was laid up for the subsistence, not only of its home population, but of the neighboring countries, during the seven years of dearth. All the food; that is, either all sorts of grain which was proper for food; or all which he intended to gather, to wit, the fifth part, Genesis 41:34. And he gathered up all the food of the seven years,.... That is, of plenty; not all the fruits of the earth, or all that was eatable, but the corn, as in Genesis 41:49; and not all of that the earth produced, but the fifth part of it, as he proposed, which he bought with Pharaoh's money, and therefore: had a right to sell it again as he did:

which were in the land of Egypt; in which only he had a concern, and where only was this plenty:

and laid up the food in the cities; in places built for that purpose, and whither the people round about could easily bring it, and fetch it, when it was wanted:

the food of the field, which was round about every city, laid he up in the same; which was very wisely done, for present carriage, and for the convenience of the people in time of famine. At this day, at old Cairo, is an edifice the most considerable in it, called Joseph's granary; it occupies a square, surrounded by a wall, and has divers partitions contrived within it, where is deposited the corn, that is paid as a tax to the Gram Seignior, brought from different parts of Egypt (o).

(o) Norden's Travels in Egypt, &c. vol. 1. p. 72.

And he gathered up all the food of the seven years, which were in the land of Egypt, and laid up the food in the cities: the food of the field, which was round about every city, laid he up in the same.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
47–49 (J, E). The seven Good Years

48. of the seven years] Probably we should add here, with LXX and Sam., “of plenty,” which seems to have dropped out of the Hebrew text.

laid up the food] On the state granaries of Egypt and the duties of the official who supervised them, the student is referred to Erman’s Life in Ancient Egypt (E.T.), p. 108. The chief “cities” of the districts, or νομοί, into which Egypt was divided, seem here to be referred to.As an installation in this post of honour, the king handed him his signet-ring, the seal which the grand vizier or prime minister wore, to give authority to the royal edicts (Esther 3:10), clothed him in a byssus dress (שׁשׁ, fine muslin or white cotton fabric),

(Note: See my Bibl. Antiquities, 17, 5. The reference, no doubt, is to the ἐσθῆτα λινέην, worn by the Egyptian priests, which was not made of linen, but of the frutex quem aliqui gossipion vocant, plures xylon et ideo LINA inde facta xylina. Nec ulla sunt eis candore mollitiave praeferenda. - Vestes inde sacerdotibus Aegypti gratissimae. Plin. h.n. xix. 1.)

and put upon his neck the golden chain, which was usually worn in Egypt as a mark of distinction, as the Egyptian monuments show (Hgst. pp. 30, 31).

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